Archie sends out Mayday warning as Thistle fail to end miserable home run

IT MAY have taken a few extra weeks but Partick Thistle finally completed the set last night.

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St Johnstone striker Stevie May celebrates after opening the scoring in his side's 1-0 win against Partick Thistle at Firhill
St Johnstone striker Stevie May celebrates after opening the scoring in his side's 1-0 win against Partick Thistle at Firhill

They have counted all 11 of their Premiership rivals in to Firhill and counted them all back out again, each one departing with at least a point to show for their efforts.

St Johnstone were the only club not to take something away with them from a trip to Glasgow but the abandonment of this fixture on December 14 didn't deny them their place in Thistle's unwanted roll call as they claimed a 1-0 win to leave Alan Archibald's side 11th in the Premiership standings.

After 12 failed attempts, the Jags will now look to the visit of Dundee United on February 1 as they bid to, at the 13th time of asking, end a home hoodoo that has already hindered their attempts to distance themselves from the Premiership play-off zone.

Archibald said: "I don't think it was a similar performance tonight, it was totally different.

"We were miles off in the first half and showed them too much respect. St Johnstone were by far the better team and won every second ball.

"In the second half we had more of the ball and we created chances, but it wasn't dropping for us.

"We have started games really well here. That is the first time we have started as badly as that in terms of our general play.

"We didn't get our foot on the ball and they dictated the game. It is a concern.

"The first half was as poor as we have been. In the second half we gave the ball away in silly areas.

"In the last two games we have been very good at the start and been worse in the second half. There is not really a pattern there.

"Yes, we haven't won a home game, but there hasn't been a pattern in terms of first-half and second-half performances."

There have been plenty of groans emanating from the Firhill stands in recent weeks, but the Jags fans had a reason to be cheerful prior to kick-off as Chris Erskine emerged from the tunnel to make his second debut in red and yellow.

The talismanic attacker has endured a frustrating time of it since making the summer switch to Dundee United but was pitched straight into battle after agreeing a move that will keep him at Thistle until the end of the season.

His arrival has given the Jags fans a lift at a time where there has been little to shout about as their side have seen a number of points slip through their grasp, with the 26-year-old's every touch greeted with a sense of anticipation by the home crowd.

It was another forward, Saints strike star Stevie May, that would have the greatest impact during a low-key encounter that saw Archibald's side struggle to find their rhythm and eventually succumb to another defeat, however.

After Gary McDonald saw an effort ruled out for offside and Paul Gallacher had tipped a Paddy Cregg shot over the bar, May found the route to the Jags goal, converting well after David Wotherspoon had waltzed his way through the Thistle defence.

All too often this season Archibald's side have failed to hold on to a lead but they couldn't do to St Johnstone what a host of sides have done to them and come from behind and deny their rivals victory.

Gallacher had to be alert as May and Miller tried their luck from distance before the 20-goal forward saw a header go narrowly wide of the near post.

At the other end, Thistle's efforts were again proving in vain as chances were created and spurned with an Erskine drive going inches wide before Doolan flashed a shot across the face of goal and Thistle's hopes faded and were eventually ended.

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